Sesame Place, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, has issued a public apology after facing major backlash from social justice warriors, following “racist” actions by a cast member. Sesame Street character, Rosita, is now being slandered across social media as video has recently surfaced of her ignoring black children while participating in a theme park parade.
The video, posted by the "ignored" children's mother, appears to show Rosita interacting with several white children and after coming across the black children, waving them away, using a "no" gesture and heading back to the parade. Sesame Place published an apology to Instagram stating, “The performer portraying the Rosita character has confirmed that the ‘no’ hand gesture seen several times in the video was not directed to any specific person, rather it was a response to multiple requests from someone in the crowd who asked Rosita to hold their child for a photo which is not permitted." Also included in the post, was an explanation on character costumes and how it is difficult to see the children below, requesting an interaction, which they apologized for as well.
The family and many celebrities have taken to Instagram and Twitter, voicing their opinions about this "heartbreaking" occurrence. Kelly Rowland even went as far as to say, "OK so, had that been me, that whole parade would have been in flames," on her instagram story. There have also been viral videos of individuals blowing up and catching fire to Sesame Street characters. Other violent threats have also been made in response to the incident.
Sesame Place has since issued a second apology promising to do better to maintain a respectful and inclusive environment, as well as providing training for their employees so they "better understand, recognize and deliver an inclusive, equitable and entertaining experience" to their guests.
The family has hired an attorney and are looking into taking legal action against the Sesame Place theme park, following the altercation.
While nobody can be sure of the intent behind these actions, there are instances caught on camera of the Rosita character also hugging, and taking photographs with black children as well as white.
Statements from Sesame Place would lead people to believe that while this event was unfortunate, it was also accidental. It seems as though whether this incident was truly racially motivated will be revealed in court if the family chooses to follow through with the legal action which they are threatening.